Handing Out The Attaboys: Patriots Edge Ravens

Derek Havens
January 25, 2012 at 07:00am ET

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In almost any game, there are always players who play well and those who struggle throughout the course of the contest. After New England's 23-20 win over the Baltimore Ravens to advance to the Super Bowl, I decided to hand out some attaboys to a few players who earned an honorable mention in a great team performance Sunday afternoon.

Brandon Spikes showed the play making ability he displayed throughout his collegiate career on Sunday. (FILE:Icon/SMI)

- The entire offensive line deserves some credit as they gave Tom Brady and the offense time to execute throughout the game. The Ravens, who have one of the more feared front sevens in the league, were held to one sack and three quarterback hits in the contest.

- BenJarvus Green-Ellis was tremendous throughout the game on Sunday. This was only the fourth time this year the running back rushed for over 60 yards and four yards-per-carry. Green-Ellis kept the offense balanced and the Ravens defense honest. In a game were Brady was not his elite self, the lawfirm came through when the team needed him most.

- Similar to the offensive line, New England's defensive line was outstanding on Saturday. In particular, Vince Wilfork was the most valuable player on the field for the Patriots. He dominated Baltimore's offensive line, including pro bowl center Matt Birk. With out the type of game Wilfork had on Sunday afternoon, I have a hard time believing the Patriots are able to advance to the Super Bowl.

- Brandon Spikes had a very good game against the Ravens. Going into the game, many people believed this was the type of game Spikes would thrive in and they were right. The second-year linebacker was all over the field, leading the team with nine tackles (two solo). He also came up with a huge interception in the fourth quarter, showing the playmaking ability he demonstrated at Florida.

- One of the biggest heroes after the game was cornerback Sterling Moore. The rookie defensive back stripped the ball from Baltimore receiver Lee Evans in the end zone and on the following play made a perfect play to knock the ball down. The rookie showed great poise and technique on both plays. Without Moore, we are most likely wrapping up the Patriots' season.

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